The Art Institution in the Age of Hyper-reproduction

Kidd, Dustin Mark , Department of English, University of Virginia
Howard, Alan, Department of English, University of Virginia
Bunch, John, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

Why study art sites on-line for American Studies? Because the so-called information age is now moving into a World Wide Web phase in which information is demanded and supplied through the high-speed, high-access medium of the Internet. The questions facing us in the movement to the web are very much similar to the questions that have faced Americans during other cultural movements. I think particularly of the 1930s movement into the machine age, as it was housed in a cultural framework of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, the New Deal, and growing war in Europe. Then, like today, the cultural movement acted in relationship with technological movements. Looking at the history and repercussions of art-oriented web sites provides one of several possible windows into the consequences of the shift towards a World Wide Web culture. This project constitutes a snapshot that is dated to the summer of 1999. The swift development of Web technology guarantees that the perspective offered here will no longer hold true as these changes take effect. While I argue that the web is reconstructing our paradigm of cultural knowledge, I recognize that the new construction will experience constant revision. Archiving and analyzing the Web activities of 1999 helps us to understand the status of our culture and preserves that understanding against a technology of rapid change.

MA (Master of Arts)

Originally published on the XRoads site for the UVA American Studies program. Years range from 1995-2005. Content is captured at the level of functionality available on the date of capture.

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